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TRNC [Northern Cyprus]: Some facts under the law

December 4-10, 2004
By Arman Ratip

FACTS under international law:

Fact 1: Turkey will never be an invader force in the TRNC [Northern Cyprus]. The Partnership Council Agreement between Turkey and the TRNC [Northern Cyprus] was signed in August 1997, and covers the defence and security of the TRNC [Northern Cyprus]. This agreement, which was signed by the two states, is valid under international law. Furthermore, as a 21-tear-old state under international law, the TRNC [Northern Cyprus] is and will be outside the EU. This organisation and its new member (“The Republic of Cyprus”) cannot claim jurisdiction over the territories of the independent sovereign TRNC [Northern Cyprus] state.

Fact 2: The Montevideo Convention of 1993, article 3, says: “The political existence of a state is independent of recognition by other states. Even before recognition the state has the right to defend its integrity and independence, to provide for its conservation and prosperity, and consequently to organise itself as it sees fit, to legislate upon its interests, administer its services, and to define the jurisdiction and competence of its courts. The existence of these rights has no other limitation than the exercise of the rights of other states according to International Law…” The rights of the TRNC [Northern Cyprus] as an independent sovereign state are well defined in this article.

The Two Theories of Recognition: The Declaratory Theory is a statement of political fact acknowledging that a state or government exists and therefore merits recognition. The TRNC [Northern Cyprus] state has existed since the Declaration of Independence in 1983 – 21 years of existence as an independent sovereign state. The Constitutive Theory asserts that the act of recognition itself constitutes a new state or government.

In both the Declaratory Theory and the Constitutive Theory the TRNC [Northern Cyprus] merits recognition and should have been recognised years ago.

Fact 3: The international law of recognition may serve a purpose by giving a framework for a solution of the “Cyprus problem”. International law says that to overcome the Cyprus problem a comprehensive formula crafted to meet the unique conditions on the island must be found. Nevertheless, a single pre-condition must be accepted. Each party to the dialogue must recognise the legitimacy of the other. Without such reciprocity, productive negotiations will not take place. At this point, the declaratory theory of the recognition makes its contribution. Immediately prior to a solution, each government must extend recognition to its negotiating partner. The advantage of reciprocal recognition followed by a solution is that of resolving the myriad of legal problems which would arise if the lawfulness of the statutes or treaties of one of the governments were subsequently called into question. Prior recognition as a pre-condition before a permanent solution resolves the issue and enhances the chances of success. The doctrine of recognition becomes a means of restoring good relations between the two states.

Fact 4: International law is above such organisations as the UN and the EU. Neither of these organisations has the right to determine the legitimacy of an independent sovereign state. International law, on the other hand, defined and sets out the factual existence of states and is able to determine the legal and legitimate rights of states and their relations with each other.

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